Project management is one of the most rewarding jobs in fields such as construction and manufacturing. Such managers are responsible for the projects they manage from the planning to execution. However, their success depends on how they coordinate and facilitate their team members. A project manager is thus the glue (single-unifying factor) that brings the team members together.
Such a person goes through formal training to be called a project manager. An MBA in project management is needed in most cases to qualify to become one. The following are some of the traits that will make you a good project manager:
A good communicator
A typical construction or manufacturing task can involve several parties. The project manager is the bridge that links all the people involved in the task. The ideal manager is one that communicates with people at all levels and understands the message. Thus, the project manager should communicate on the responsibilities, performance, goals, and expectations and gather feedback from different people. The project manager will put in place the different communication modes that will be utilized during the project. The person in charge should also set out the communication rules to be followed during the engagement period.
Being a project manager is not all about management. The leader should also understand the technical bits of the project being undertaken. However, the project manager doesn’t need to understand the core technology that runs the business. In the past, the focus was on technical skills, but it is now changing, and such people must demonstrate their ability to lead others. A project manager needs to demonstrate the ability to enable, challenge, inspire, and encourage others to tackle different tasks. Not being an expert in a certain field should not limit you as long as you understand the basics.
Delegation of duties has to happen when working on big projects such as constructing and producing thousands of units. The project manager is tasked with observing the team members’ skills and talents and identifying those that perform different functions. Trust must also be available if the team members are to perform up to the expectations. The leader will then observe how everyone performs the duties assigned and do rotations or even promotions where necessary. How much you delegate and control those under will determine if the type of leader that you are.
You cannot work alone on some projects. Such big projects attract players from different fields. It thus calls for teamwork to ensure that the project runs to completion. As a team builder, you are supposed to be a strong person that provides the substance that brings the team together and works towards a common goal. The team might be made up of strangers, but you must bring it together and create that bond. As a team builder, you need to ensure that you keep the sense of team alive if there are challenges during the project’s execution.
A skilled motivator
How could it feel when you are working under someone who never seems to appreciate your efforts? It can be demotivating. Some people can either make or break the project that you are undertaking. As a project manager, you must develop ways of keeping such people motivated if you care about success. You may not directly influence such people, but you can still devise ways to keep them motivated. You need to instill confidence in sponsors’ and other stakeholders’ minds and make it easy to approach them with changes that you deem necessary.
Some people will always want to take credit for work well done. However, you may find such people do not want to be associated with failure when things go wrong. Some project managers start looking for people they can lay blame for when they stray. Mistakes can occur irrespective of the plans and measures that you have in place. What matters is how you approach those mistakes and the solutions that you come up with. A good leader should be selfless and understand the needs of others. Such a person also needs to be a problem-solver rather than someone who runs away when challenges come along.
An agent of change
Being a project manager means that a lot of stakeholders have tasked you with a major undertaking. Change is inevitable, and you must thus check on the trends that are likely to change the project. You can plan for uncertainties and make it easy to cope up with challenges that come your way.
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